Proposed Submarine Construction

Gao ID: NSIAD-95-96R February 13, 1995

GAO reviewed the production of the Seawolf submarine and other interrelated nuclear submarine force structure and industrial base issues, focusing on the practicality and cost of future submarine production. GAO noted that: (1) the study's recommendations are appropriate based on the Department of Defense's (DOD) decision to retain two nuclear-capable shipyards; (2) DOD needs to clarify its justification to retain the two shipyards in order to maintain the industrial base, competition, and national security; (3) DOD needs to further consider alternative acquisition strategies because of Navy budget constraints; (4) DOD needs to study and resolve issues concerning the future threat environment for attack submarines, since there is a lack of consensus on the nature of the future submarine threat; and (5) it does not support the construction of the third Seawolf submarine, since these issues have not been studied and resolved.

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